Food and poker. What can we have in common?

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Historically, the fact that food can bring as much pleasure as the famous trio “sex – drugs – rock ‘n’ roll”, it is important only the skill of the chef and gastronomic addictions of the consumer. And yet, one philosopher said that a really good cook is as rare as a real poker player. This is not the first comparison of gastronomic science with gambling, however, it made me wonder: is it really between food and poker, there are such significant commonalities that force them to put on the same level?

By and large, what can there be in common between poker and food? The consumers, of course. No matter how you spin it, no one in the world can live with food for any meaningful time. There is a wide variety of poker and cooking schools, tons of literature and numerous scientific studies. And even addiction! As you know, many people can’t imagine their own life without cake or chocolate. What if it’s not addiction? That’s what unites the overly zealous lovers of delicious food with the notorious five percent of poker addicts.

And poker professionals themselves like to emphasize the closeness of the culinary and gambling worlds.

“All – In Kitchen” in London. Culinary – poker heaven


Undoubtedly, the history of the restaurant business knows a lot of establishments, made in accordance with any theme. You can find a variety of gastronomic establishments in the world: cat cafes, ninja restaurants and even restaurants for exhibitionists. In addition, many owners of such establishments decorate them in various genres, and poker theme among them is not the last place.

And yet the British restaurant “All – In Kitchen” managed to stand out. As part of the Irish Poker Tour – one of the largest tournaments of its kind in the world – a very special atmosphere was created in this restaurant. In fact, the restaurant plays poker for food. The administration of the restaurant offered each visitor to play three handouts at the poker table. The result of these distributions determined the cost of a full lunch consisting of three dishes and a cocktail. The lucky ones who managed to multiply or at least keep their bank (ten thousand chips), got a pleasant opportunity to have a free lunch. And this does not mean that the players who lost their chips paid the full and the higher cost of lunch! The size of the discount was really impressive: players who had more than five thousand chips left in the bank paid five euros for lunch, and those who managed to keep in the bank less than five thousand, paid for lunch ten.

The menu, which was also played in poker, certainly deserved special attention. There were sets (duck roast in blackberry sauce), nats (chestnut gratin and grey walnut under Waterloo cheese) and even real Flash piano (royal crab in thermidor).

That’s what got me thinking. If famous chefs are ready to call their creations different gambling terms, then how often does the poker glossary is used by the modern hostess? You will learn about poker dishes and how they are made right now.

“Gambling” food. What does the culinary world have to offer?


When I started looking for poker dishes, I faced a classic situation for the gastronomic world: the division between professional and everyday cuisine. The range of cute, everyday breakfasts, lunches and dinners made by millions of housewives around the world certainly cannot be put on the same level as the masterpieces of professional chefs.

However, statistics have shown that it is the authors of so-called household recipes most often give their children unusual names. And it is the creativity of modern housewives is eighty percent of what I thought it appropriate to describe as “poker cooking”. These are just some of these recipes.

Poker salad. It will require the following products: beet, potatoes, apple, pickled mushrooms, celery, ham and dill. Also, the hostess who decided to cook such a dish should stock up on the following spices: salt, pepper olive oil, vinegar, mustard and mayonnaise. Ingredients should be cut in mugs, celery and dill, pre-shredded and grated with mustard, should insist for about four hours in marinade of vinegar and olive oil. The ingredients are mixed, dressed with mayonnaise, placed on a slide and served to the table.

Joker salad. It does not require any preliminary preparation. Ingredients: prunes, chicken fillet, quail eggs and cucumber. Mayonnaise is used as a dressing. The salad is laid out in layers in the following order: prunes, fillets cut into small pieces, mayonnaise, grated eggs, over which mayonnaise is also added.

I will not bother you with further description of this kind of gastronomic amateur activity and move on to more serious culinary and poker research. For example, one of St. Petersburg restaurants serves such a dish as “Lucky Deal”, which can also be called a reference to this gambling. It is also a salad, it consists of trout, red caviar, cheese, eggs and fresh cucumber with mayonnaise dressing.

Reflections on “poker” cuisine led me to a poker dictionary. And there I found some funny and intriguing coincidences. For example, banana split fans should know that in poker, the word “split” means half a pot in a type of game like hi-low split. And if the intricacies of poker is not easy to understand, then everyone can prepare a banana split. To do this, you just need to cut along the banana, put ice cream balls on it and pour all the syrup and whipped cream. By the way, this dish is considered the best by the famous sweet tooth, poker genius Phil Ivy, also known as the professional poker rum Full Tilt.

Water and snacks


Poker is a marathon. And real life marathon runners and professional poker players all need water. After a few hours of playing, sooner or later the thirst comes. So take a bottle of water with you. Of course, at most venues are cooler with water, but it does not always happen. In the west of the site are water vending machines with prices from $ 2 for 0.5 liters. And the cost of soda at the bar can be as high as $5. So it’s better to take the water with you. This advice especially applies to beginner players: water helps to cope with the excitement and calm down.